German Physicist Sees Dangerous Return To “Medieval Scholasticism” – Climate Models Have Failed Conclusively

At EIKE distinguished German physicist and climate expert Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke writes how we are witnessing a notable paradigm shift in climate research today: the resurrection of medieval scholasticism. In plain language: the science of the Dark Ages.


German climate physicist Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke says today’s climate science paradigm has shifted to a “medieval scholasticism” and is a real threat to science and society as a whole. Photo: EIKE.

Scholasticism dominated medieval western Europe and was based on the writings of the Church Fathers, with strict adherence to traditional doctrines. To say the least, it was effective in stifling enlightenment.

The breakthrough from this crusty, dogmatic approach, Lüdecke writes, came with Galileo, who gave highest priority to systematic and numerical measurement, which today remains the standard method of science. With Galileo’s approach hypotheses or theories that are not confirmed by measurements get discarded and are no longer pursued. The method led to giant leaps and bounds in technology, medicine and science, from which today humanity is benefitting immensely.

Richard Richard Feynman summarized Galileo’s approach beautifully, saying that if a hypothesis disagrees with observations, then it’s wrong.

This fundamental approach, the Lüdecke writes, is no longer in use in climate science and, what is worse, the old medieval scholastic method is even now dangerously invading other fields of science.

According to Lüdecke, the key question today: Is the climate change witnessed since 1850 unusual, and thus due to man, or is it well within the range of natural variability the planet has seen throughout its history? The German physicist says a hypothesis’s burden of proof is clearly not on its skeptics, but on the one proposing the hypothesis. He writes:

It is senseless to favor a certain hypothesis – senseless according to our still valid scientific paradigm – when no confirming measured data can be shown to support it. One can occupy himself with a hypothesis, put it at the center of his research, and even have complete faith in it. However one cannot use it as a basis for taking rational action without first having confirmed measurements. In summary: If we cannot observe any unusual climate activity since 1850 compared to the times before that, then we have no choice but to assume natural climate change.”

In order to assume there has been “unusual activity”, Lüdecke says, it would be necessary to have comprehensive data about the oceans before 1850. This doesn’t exist, and so a comparison is not possible. Lüdecke reminds: “It is mandatory to prove that the climate data since 1850 are indeed unusual when compared to the period before that.” A comparison is already very difficult to do with atmospheric temperatures. With ocean data: “Who today can tell us what temperature distributions the oceans had back during the Medieval Warm Period?” Lüdecke writes Assuming that today is unusual without being able to compare it to anything from the past is not science at all, he tells us.

When it comes to extreme weather events, there are plenty of paintings and recorded accounts showing that they too existed earlier on, and that today’s events are nothing new, Lüdecke writes. Even the IPCC has reached that conclusion. The German climatologist puts the assumptions of more future extreme weather events in the category of “crystal balls” and not modern science.

Prof. Lüdecke also blasts the over-emphasis on climate models, writing that “the models fail already for the past” and that they cannot even predict the next El Nino correctly or the missing tropospheric hot spot. He writes:

Using the R. Feynman yardstick these climate models are not only inaccurate or a bit false; they are totally false. […] Anyone selling climate forecasts from climate models as scientific is using a medieval paradigm. He is conducting moral sciences instead of physics.”

Ouch. Lüdecke also then calls the alliance between the IPCC and policymaking “dubious” and one that was set up with the target of reaching an already predetermined result. He calls the manner in which policymaking is moving ahead “embellished nonsense”.

In his conclusion the German professor advises those engaged in a discussion with alarmists, or listening to a presenation by an alarmist, to not go easy on them. There are three points, he advises:

1. The modern science paradigm of priority on measurement over theoretical model remains valid. The climate alarmist must prove that his hypothsies is confirmed by observations and measurements. It is not up to you to prove his hypothesis is false.

2. When the climate alarmists “starts beating around the bush” insists he name a peer-reviewed paper that proves, based on measurements, that the climate change since 1850 is unprecedented compared to earlier times (there isn’t any).

3. Don’t let yourself be drawn into the discussion over climate models. That the models are unable to describe the climate development means they are false, as to point no. 1.”

The distinguished professor ends by blasting climate policymakers, warning they are bordering on “criminal activity” in their conscious misuse of science to formulate policy:

We are allowing hundreds of thousands of people in the poorest developing countries to starve in order to be able to finance climate protection and energy transformation that are not based on today’s valid science paradigm. That is not only idiotic, but also borders on criminal activity by the politically responsible persons.”


28 responses to “German Physicist Sees Dangerous Return To “Medieval Scholasticism” – Climate Models Have Failed Conclusively”

  1. oebele bruinsma

    The year 2015 will be a very difficult year for reason, common sense, facts, proven approaches like engineering, to flourish. We seem to be heading for dark ages. And as history has given us descriptions of dark ages, I pray for the best.

    1. DirkH

      Dark ages is actually the propaganda term the Enlightenment used for the pre-enlightened ages, specifically the medieval – which was not so dark at all… as Europe even had enough surplus production and technology to equip a highly advanced expeditionary force travelling thousands of miles, conquering Jerusalem and holding it for 200 years.

      1. Santa Baby

        I think “dark ages” was coined by a historian. It mean there that there is not much historical data or monuments from that time. Probably caused by the lack of overproduction in wealth and food? Probably caused by colder and highly variable climate? Much of the written texts from Greece thinkers was lost in Europe during that time. But was later rediscovered in Iran/Iraq schools that the Muslim conquerers had decided to let be.

        1. DirkH

          Origin of the term.

          “It mean there that there is not much historical data or monuments from that time.”
          No. It meant over time whatever the users wanted it to mean.
          “But was later rediscovered in Iran/Iraq schools that the Muslim conquerers had decided to let be.”
          The Muslim conquerors actively collected scriptures they looted. The Golden Age of Islam was caused by this acquisition of knowledge and application of it. Once the Kaliphate stopped expanding this acquisition process stopped and further development could not take place.

          The famous Muslim scientists like Al Kwarizmi were born Christian, Zoroastrian, or other. They later converted. They got acquired by the Umma just like their works.

          The Quran says, you need not know anything besides the Quran. So Islam never encouraged scientific development in its own ranks.

          The prohibition of pictures of the human body also did not help science in Islam.

  2. BobW in NC

    When I received my PhD in Zoology (parasitology), everything I learned about science was strictly “on the job” training. I had never heard of the scientific method, Dr. Feynman, or others such as Dr. Lüdecke, but everything I learned is absolutely consistent with the rigorous standards it imposes.

    In the work I did, we just “did it” and were responsible for properly designed experiments that could at any moment be critiqued by any of our committee, or anyone else for that matter. Throughout my laboratory career, it was always, “Present your study results even at a lunch meeting or at an informal discussion with a colleague,” and you had to defend everything from start to finish. Always.

    I value this website and others for now teaching me formally about the requisite standards that science imposes on those who would claim to be scientists. I have learned so much!

    This knowledge should be condensed, documented, referenced and put into some kind of publication in succinct and straightforward form. Typically, when you try to find out about science (online), you wind up with philosophical discussions that are “rat’s nests” to try to understand.

    Thank you, Pierre! Great post.

    1. DirkH

      “This knowledge should be condensed, documented, referenced and put into some kind of publication in succinct and straightforward form.”

      Already done a while ago.

  3. Segue C

    Please understand what you are facing and don’t take it lying down!

    1. Mike Heath

      Agreed, but what to do?
      As the institutions of the media and education are under the same control in the west, and to some degree also in the east, without the internet we would all be force fed with one sided stories.

  4. John F. Hultquist

    Thanks Pierre,
    These things are much appreciated.
    (I left an OT note on the previous post.)

    Scholasticism – nice image here:

    Joanne Nova prepared a very nice booklet (2009) that may be useful to some. It has colored charts and images. I have not re-read it recently. Thus, there may be some less than current facts and other out-of-date material. You can evaluate that on your own, here:

  5. Mindert Eiting

    For several years I do not read the articles by the chief science editor of my newspaper any more. He wrote in 2009 that the science was settled and that dissident opinions should be censored in his newspaper. However, a friend of mine does what I should do. She has no knowledge of the scientific method or climate science in particular but a fine sense of psychology in stead. Every week when I pay a visit to her, she tells me about his last article in psychological terms. Saturday she told that he wrote about the missing heat hiding it self in the oceans. He is desperate, she said. He knows that something is seriously wrong but has to defend a ridiculous position. He is looking for a way to escape but he can’t. I don’t think that medieval philosophy will save his soul.

    1. DirkH

      I have the feeling that some people here misunderstand the term scholar; which describes people like Albertus Magnus or William Of Occam. The latter name should ring a bell.

      Or Anselm of Canterbury whose proof for the existence of God was reformulated by Gödel and recently confirmed by a Berlin researcher team with a theorem prover modified to work with Gödel’s modal logic.

      Also, Galilei basically just applied Kepler’s laws (but got all the fame. Probably due to his Venetian puppetmaster Paolo Sarpi.)

      But go on believing that the world started with Adam Weishaupt or Voltaire if that makes you happier.

      1. Mindert Eiting

        Thanks, Dirk. Very interesting. After dumb Google work, I arrived at this

  6. German climate physicist Prof. Dr. Horst-Joachim Lüdecke says today’s climate science paradigm has shifted to a “medieval scholasticism” – the science of the Dark Ages that stifled enlightenment- and is a real threat to science and society as

    […] by qp0n [link] […]

  7. Jay Currie

    As the pause – or halt, or perhaps decline – extends the models will continue to diverge from observations. At what point are the models abandoned as incorrect?

    My bet is it will take a while simply because surface temperatures are being “adjusted” ie. faked. But the satellites will out in the end. That and seriously cold winters year after year.

  8. Matthew Engels

    ” We are allowing hundreds of thousands of people in the poorest developing countries to starve in order to be able to finance climate protection and energy transformation that are not based on today’s valid science paradigm. That is not only idiotic, but also borders on criminal activity by the politically responsible persons.”

    Would this be why the UNFCCC Green Climate Fund needs to secure immunity from prosecution ?

    1. MCraig

      What a gig the UN has going. They’re unlected therefore unaccountable. They get loads of money donated from nations and spend freely. They have large staff, large accomodations and who know what else. AND, they want immunity from prosecution. Awesome.

      I still keep writing the above to my representatives and ask if any of MY money is going to the UN because I would very much like to stop that.

  9. lemiere jacques

    very good….but why is this the exception???

  10. John McNees

    What Professor Luedecke says makes good sense to me. But the history of philosophy in this article is grotesque–as can be seen simply by following the link it provides to “scholasticism” (the Wikipedia entry). To suggest that Thomas Aquinas “stifled enlightenment” is comically inept.

  11. DirkH

    While reading up on Kepler I found the most impressive job title ever:

    Imperial Mathematician. (he got the job)

  12. starving Green monsters … | pindanpost

    […] SOURCE […]

  13. Val Martin

    The climate change issue is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated, a ponzi scheme of the most cruel evil nature, It is not a victimless crime, the poorest of people are the victims while rich people like Ireland’s Mary Robinson and Al Gore jet around the world propping it up. It is not science and the professor is correct. It is a return to the middle ages when the churches set the thinking of the age. This is the new religion, a new method to by pass our freedoms and control us. In Europe they have by passed the legal framework to build wind farms and other useless money grabbing schemes.

  14. The Climate Change Debate Thread - Page 4585

    […] vital part of the marine food chain. This comment from a highly well qualified expert says it all German Physicist Sees Dangerous Return To “Medieval Scholasticism” – Climate Model… Sign in or Register Now to […]

  15. MikeR

    “the resurrection of medieval scholasticism. In plain language: the science of the Dark Ages.”

    And just how much of an expert on medieval scholasticism is our Professor of Physics?

  16. GarryG

    It is correct to attach climate “science” to a return to medieval scholasticism, but wrong to pin medieval scholasticism on the Roman church. The repression of cosmological enlightenment was promulgated and prosecuted by pagan philosophers, i.e. the scientific establishment of the day, who held doggedly to the established Aristotle/Ptolemy models of the universe. The church weakly followed their teaching, which forced them to oppose Gallileo.

    Today’s climate science establishment is just like the pagan philosophers of old, holding to their model and demanding everybody else submit to their authority, while suppressing all dissent. And predictably, much of the modern mainstream church has compromised rational enquiry and skepticism to follow the new “pagan philosphers” of the climate science franchise.

    Less well-known are the genuine advances being made by Christians who used their relevation of God’s sovereignty over his creation to seek and bring enlightenment to the world. Some examples include Keppler, Newton, Maxwell-Clarke and Mendel, as well modern scientists such as Francis Collins and Fred Hollows.

  17. Gail Combs

    OH MY!

    Seems Mark Twain was correct — “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”

    When I went to find out what EIKE was on Google, on the first page this popped up as #8. Studie von Klima-Skeptikern bestätigt globale Erwärmung (October 2011)

    Being the curious sort, I popped the first couple of paragraphs in to Google translate and came up with this:

    Study of climate skeptics confirms global warming

    The IPCC, NOAA, the CRU NASA and the corresponding researchers from various quarters for a long time been accused of constructing global warming only from the data. After the “Climategate” scandal in 2009 again came up doubts about the objectivity of the data in which it wanted some skeptics just knowledge and engage an independent study – which in the case is, that it was financed by a lobby from climate skeptics (for example, the US industrialist Koch).

    The so-called “Berkeley Earth Project” should re-analyze existing data of the surface temperatures of the earth, to determine whether it is global warming, or nicht.Überraschenderweise comes this study to the same results as the official studies:

    “To our great surprise, cover the new results with the warming values of the previous studies,” citing the BBC study leader Professor Richard Muller of the “University of California”.

    The skeptics study thus confirms the results of the criticized as implausible studies of NASA, the “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration” of the USA (NOAA) and the British “Climatic Research Unit” (CRU): Since 1950, the Earth has globally by about heats a degree while now shown a 60 years lasting constant rise…..

    BEST and “I have never been a Skeptic” Muller? No wonder BEST wanted to rope Anthony Watts and Judith Curry into their study. No wonder Zeke Hausfather and the Mosh Pup are always hanging around WUWT.

    To the world Mueller, Judith Curry, Zeke Hausfather and the Mosh Pup are Skeptics. They are skeptics who are accepted by the leading Skeptic blog WUWT. This has put the stamp of approval on the Climate Lies!!!!

    Thanks Anthony Watts!

  18. Richard Greene

    After much analysis, and very deep thought, aided by caffeine and pacing the floor, it has become obvious to me that the good professor has become confused by climate change, and has dared to challenge the climate models only because of that confusion.
    After all. everyone knows those REALLY BIG COMPUTERS can predict the future climate with 105% confidence (previously 95% confidence — I’m extrapolating the rising confidence level trend two years into the future).
    In 2015 I have decided to add humor to the global warming debate (the coming climate catastrophe is a joke, right?) I have been casually following since 1997.
    And in case it wasn’t obvious, the prior two sentences were jokes (I usually have to inform people I just made a joke, as few people I meet seem to have good sense of humor unless they are drunk).
    But seriously folks, I chose this piece as the first Climate Article of the Week on my ECONOMIC LOGIC newsletter blog, because it is so refreshing to find out a scientist who is skeptical — skepticism used to be the primary characteristic of good scientists … at least before the lure of a lot of goobermint climate change money politicized science.
    Roger Revelle’s strategy on how to get a share of the goobermint money was simple, but effective: State with great confidence that some environmental catastrophe is coming in the future, and that you must be given a grant to study it, or else life on Earth will end as we know it.
    Doesn’t matter if the coming catastrophe is acid rain, hole in the ozone layer, global cooling — the end result is always: ‘life on Earth will end as we know it’.
    When a coming crisis stops scaring people, you just invent a new crisis, such as global warming, and your friends in the leftist-biased press will never mention the old, forgotten never-hurt-anyone crises again.
    Due Diligence:
    Based on my examination of the most accurate data available:
    – I favor a lot more CO2 in the air to green the Earth, and
    – I favor more warming (although I’m confident CO2 will cause little or no warming beyond the 400 ppmv level) but I want more warming anyway, because I can’t afford a second home in warm Florida, and it gets pretty cold here in Michigan.

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